Heinz Brandt: German Army officer and equestrian (1907 - 1944) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Heinz Brandt
German Army officer and equestrian

Heinz Brandt

Heinz Brandt
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German Army officer and equestrian
Was Equestrian Athlete Soldier Show jumper
From Germany
Field Military Sports
Gender male
Birth 11 March 1907, Charlottenburg
Death 21 July 1944, Kętrzyn (aged 37 years)
Heinz Brandt
The details (from wikipedia)


Generalmajor Heinz Brandt (11 March 1907 – 21 July 1944) was a German Wehrmacht staff officer who served during World War II as an aide to Generalleutnant Adolf Heusinger, who was the head of the operations unit of the General Staff. He is notable for winning an equestrian olympic gold medal and for possibly saving Adolf Hitler's life unwittingly, at the cost of his own, by moving the 20 July plot bomb planted by Oberst Claus von Stauffenberg.

Life and career

Early life

Brandt was born in Charlottenburg, Berlin and enlisted in the Reichswehr in 1925. He attended a course at the cavalry school in Hanover from 1927 to 1928 and was commissioned a lieutenant. In 1936 he was a member of the gold medal winning German show jumping team in the equestrian event at the Berlin Summer Olympics, on his horse Alchemy.

Second World War

At the outbreak of the Second World War he was a Hauptmann on the general staff of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. After serving in an infantry division he was promoted to Major in January 1941 and Oberstleutnant in April 1942.

On 13 March 1943 Brandt was an unwitting participant in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. Generalmajor Henning von Tresckow instructed Lieutenant Fabian Von Schlabrendorff to ask Brandt to carry a package containing bottles of what he claimed was Cointreau onto Hitler's Condor plane for delivery to Oberst Helmuth Stieff as payment for a lost bet. The package in fact contained a primed bomb which in the event failed to detonate.

In May 1943 Brandt was promoted to Oberst (Colonel).

20 July bomb

On 20 July 1944 he arrived at the Wolf's Lair headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia for a situation conference attended by Hitler. With the assistance of Major Ernst John von Freyend, Oberst von Stauffenberg put a briefcase containing a primed bomb at Brandt's feet as close as possible to Hitler and to the right of General Heusinger who was standing next to him. Stauffenberg then made an excuse that he had a phone call and left the room. Soon after he left, Brandt wanted to get a better look at a map on the table, he found the briefcase in his way and moved the briefcase to the other side of a thick strong table leg. Seven minutes later the bomb exploded and blew one of Brandt's legs off. Where Brandt was standing (List of people killed or wounded in the 20 July) was in number 4 standing right at the bomb.


Brandt died the next day after surgery in Rastenburg hospital and was posthumously promoted to Generalmajor by Hitler. Three other people also died as a result of the explosion. It was later concluded that its exact positioning next to a leg of the map table was a crucial factor in determining who in the room survived.

In film

In the 1971 Eastern Bloc co-production Liberation: Direction of the Main Blow, Brandt was portrayed by the East German actor Fritz-Ernst Fechner. In the 2008 film Valkyrie, Heinz Brandt is portrayed by British actor Tom Hollander, who is shown as a minor antagonist towards Henning von Tresckow and Claus von Stauffenberg in the film.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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